Embrace Outside with Molly Hurford

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What is the right plan?

May 26, 2011

What is the right plan?

I currently have a training plan. And I think it’s a good one. (At least, I thought it was.)

However, I think I’m in the minority on that opinion.

I came up with it after trying to figure out how to work around a completely full schedule that involves 2 days a week at offices that are nowhere near where I live, so between the commute, the work, and the outside work I need to do after I leave, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of riding time. And yeah, maybe it’s time to do some serious thinking about how to remedy that, cut hours, et cetera.But in the meantime, I’m just getting yelled at a lot… for running when I should be riding.

For example: yesterday, I got home from work at 8PM, having left at 7 AM, and not having eaten dinner yet. With minimal daylight left and a growling stomach, I decided to forgo an hour ride for a 30 minute run in the last bit of daylight- and because it was 80 degrees and I’m really happy hot weather is finally here. I went on the run, mentioned it on the internet, and the floodgates opened. On Monday, I’m racing in the Tour of Somerville in the Pro-1-2-3 Women’s race, and I know I need to be out practicing cornering and sprinting. So I wasn’t exactly shocked to wake up to some… umm… gentle advice to the tune of “Have fun w/ the P/1/2/3 women on Monday. None of them went running this week,” and “You can’t cute your way out of getting dropped, you know.”

Since this not-so-subtle advice is from cyclists I genuinely like, respect, and admire, I think it’s time for some reevaluation of my training plan…

They make a good point. I’m used to being a triathlete, so when I realized that cyclocross did involve some running, I was happy because it meant I could keep up my running. While cycling is my favorite sport, running is easier when you don’t have much time- minimal gear, minimal fuss, and minimal upkeep. Plus, it’s relaxing, and I can do it on my lunchbreak at the office. But lately, with a serious time crunch from too much work and not enough play, I’ve been cutting rides but still getting in runs. And that is a problem.

Mark and I after destroying the co-ed duathlon relay!

It’s been rainy, the mountain bike trails near me are unrideable because they’re soggy (I’m not worried about bad conditions, I’m worried about wrecking trails), and the trainer holds little appeal. Still, if I’m going to by a real cyclist, I need to toughen up, deal with the trainer, and ride in the rain. We’re back to the whole HTFU thing- if cyclocross is what I want to do (and it definitely is), I need to stop thinking like a triathlete and start thinking like a cyclist. It’s not like I can’t ever regain my ability to run, and I’m sure that even if a sub-19 5k is no longer a possibility for me at the moment, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s not forever.

I admit it: I secretly really love my ability to run- and sometimes, it comes in handy (like in an Xterra Triathlon, or the off-road duathlon that teammate Mark and I do as a relay where he rides and I run. (He doesn’t complain about my running abilities then!)

Still, this season isn’t about triathlon anymore, it’s about being as prepared as possible for what promises to be a crazy-intense and very busy cyclocross season.

I know I need to ride more and run less. I’ll work on amending my training plan to that, because a) I know it’s good for me, and because b) Adam makes a valid point: “When you start listening, we’ll stop yelling.”


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